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Friday, November 26, 2010 - 5:05am

South Lags in HIV/AIDS Prevention

Human Rights Watch says southern states are not making enough progress in the fight against AIDS. The group blames state government policies and a lack of education.

In a 23 page report entitled “Southern Exposure: HIV and Human Rights in the Southern United States,” the human rights group shows findings of interviews with people living with HIV and AIDS in 17 Southern States. Researcher Megan McLemore says policies like abstinence only education and a refusal to implement needle exchanges are reasons the South is behind other states in HIV prevention.

“Socioeconomic condition such as poverty, lack of access to health care are combining with misguided policy and really a lack of investment.”

McLemore says Georgia is fairing a little better than other southern states, mostly because the large urban area of Metro Atlanta offers more resources.

Human Rights Watch released the report ahead of World AIDS day, which is December 1st.